Restaurant to welcome first homeless guests

Restaurant to welcome first homeless guests

A new Edinburgh restaurant will serve dinner to homeless people for the first time this evening.

Maison Bleue at Home, which opened just two weeks ago, will feed members of the homeless community once a week while also contributing its profits to a homelessness charity.

The Queensferry Street eatery will open its doors to around 30 people – though this will increase to 50 in the future weeks - as it debuts its special meal service, made possible by "pay it forward" contributions from diners.

Guests will be treated to a hearty two-course menu - a choice of venison haunch casserole with Mouselline cheesy mash or a wild mushroom penne pasta dish - followed by Maison Bleue’s famous sticky toffee pudding with vanilla ice cream.

Those taking part have been selected by three homeless charities, Social Bite, Crisis, and The Big Issue and booked their places through Social Bite cafes. They will dine in small groups, accompanied by volunteers.

The restaurant is the third venue in Edinburgh opened by Maison Bleue founder Dean Gassabi. For this venture he is working in partnership with Josh Littlejohn of the Social Bite sandwich chain, a social enterprise which supports homeless people.

Dean said: "We are really excited that our first sitting for homeless guests is almost here and we are determined to make sure they really enjoy the experience.

"Our team will bring together all the ingredients that make Maison Bleue successful - fresh produce, high quality cuisine and excellent customer service - to offer a first rate meal to some of the most vulnerable members of society. 

"The generosity of diners as part of our ‘pay it forward’ scheme has been very heartening. That’s what makes this possible and it’s encouraging to know we have so much support from the people of Edinburgh and beyond." 

The sittings for homeless guests will run weekly on a Monday from 3-5pm and will see 50 guests enjoy a mixture of French and Scottish cuisine. Places can be booked through the Social Bite cafes.

 Josh Littlejohn of Social Bite said: "We want the Monday meal services to be an opportunity for the homeless community to eat with dignity - not to offer a handout but a hand up - to employment, stability and self-worth.

"It's a natural evolution of what we've been doing at Social Bite and it's fantastic to see people are getting on board and supporting us in the same way."


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